Millions of Americans enjoy the of excitement dusting off their snowmobiles at the first sign of snowfall. Though insurance coverage for these sleds is not required in all states, it is often mandatory when riding on certain public and private trails.
Whether or not it is mandated, snowmobile insurance coverage is a good idea because it can protect you from financial losses associated with accidents, injuries and properly damage. But what about during the warmer months when your snowmobile is stowed away? Is coverage at this time worthwhile or a waste of money?
For Some, Year-Round Coverage May Be Required
While used snowmobiles can typically be purchased for a couple thousand dollars, new sleds can run as high as $15,000. For many, a purchase like this requires financing. As one of the terms of your loan, you may be required to carry full, comprehensive coverage on your snow machine for as long as you are making payments. This includes the months when you cannot ride.
In other cases, some people who have space limitations pay to have their sleds kept in a snowmobile storage facility when not in use. Many of these facilities require owners to carry comprehensive coverage in the event that the vehicles are lost or damaged in any way while in their care.
Year-Round Coverage Can Protect You from a Number of Hazards
If you keep your snowmobile stowed away in the back of your garage or in a storage shed on your property during the warmer months, you may be wondering why you should bother covering it. After all, it is not likely that you will be getting into an accident when there is no snow on the ground.
However, consider the following risks:
- Floods: As winter snowfalls melt and spring rains begin, flooding is a common hazard. If your machine is damaged or destroyed by floodwaters, you may have no recourse for compensation. Homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage and flood insurance does not cover self-propelled vehicles unless they are used to service the covered location or to assist handicapped persons. Only comprehensive snowmobile coverage can mitigate your losses.
- Property Crimes: If your snowmobile is stolen or vandalized, it is possible that your homeowners insurance may provide some compensation, but don’t count on it. Many policies exclude vehicles, including snowmobiles, from their contents coverage, and those that do provide coverage may not provide you with reparations in amounts that are acceptable to you. When you have your sled covered by an actual snowmobile policy, you and your insurance company can agree on its value prior to such an event.
- Fire and Natural Disasters: If you are self-storing your sled and your home is damaged in a fire or a natural disaster, your snowmobile is not likely to be the first thing you worry about. However, with such a large investment, it is to your benefit to know that you may be compensated for this loss by your snowmobile insurance while your homeowners insurance provides coverage for damage to your home.
Why a Year-Round Snowmobile Policy Makes Good Fiscal Sense
Still not convinced that a year-round policy is the best way to go? What if you were to find out that doing so could actually end up saving you money?
While it costs more to keep your policy year-round, insurance companies realize that those who live in climates with warm summers will not be spending much, if any, time on their sleds throughout several months of the year. As such, they don't charge significantly more for this additional coverage.
The cost savings come into play when you renew your policy. Many insurance companies offer renewal discounts; so the longer you keep your policy active with the same company, the less it will cost you in the long run.
Furthermore, when you keep your policy year-round, you can spread your payments over a longer period and pay lower monthly premiums. While this doesn’t necessarily save you money, it is the same as paying the budget amount on your utilities: It keeps you from facing higher costs in the winter.
Let an Independent Agent Help You Weigh Your Options
Sometimes, looking at the numbers is the best way to understand your cost savings. In that case, it would be a good idea to speak with an independent agent in our network. These agents can provide you with a number of snowmobile insurance quotes for both full-year and half-year coverage.
They can also explain discounts you may be entitled to when you renew a full-year policy. When you look at the numbers and your estimated monthly payments, you are likely to find that a full-year policy really is the best choice.